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State

Suit alleges Illinois teacher duct taped student

CHICAGO (AP) — A suburban Chicago school board member has filed a lawsuit accusing a teacher in her district of duct taping her 11-year-old son's face after telling him to stop talking in class.

The lawsuit filed this week in U.S. District Court by Princess Dempsey on behalf of her son says the Lindrop School teacher put an index card on the boy's mouth, then wrapped duct tape around his head.

Dempsey's attorney, Standish Willis, confirmed that Dempsey is on Lindrop's school board. The Broadview woman also has run unsuccessful races for Illinois state representative.

The suit names the teacher and Lindrop School District 92 as defendants. It seeks more than $100,000 in damages, saying the boy has suffered anxiety attacks and nightmares since the Feb. 27, 2012, incident.

According to the six-page filing, the teacher let the boy remove the tape after 45 minutes only after realizing he was crying; removing it allegedly tore out chunks of hair and left welts on his face.

"After the incident, (he) was left with a bald spot and his face appeared as though it had been whipped," the filing says. "He also suffered from the continuous bullying of his peers as a result of the incident."

Dempsey has sought a settlement with the district over the past year, but negotiations failed to resolve the matter — leading to the court action, Willis told The Associated Press Friday night.

"We have tried to resolve this all year — there were offers and counters, and they decided they did not want to resolve it," he said.

Messages left at the school district's offices were not returned.

The filing, which contends the boy's constitutional rights were violated, says the boy has also been showing signs of post-traumatic stress disorder, adding he is no longer the outgoing child he once was.

"He would sing all the time and hoped to one day become a pop star," the filing says. Now, "(He) has become much more reserved, not wanting to leave the house and only spending time with his older brothers."

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Follow Michael Tarm at www.twitter.com/mtarm

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